Student News of Skutt Catholic High School

The Flightline

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One Last Headline

An editor's note

Photo by Hannah Klemme

Photo by Hannah Klemme

Gabby Giesler, Editor-in-Chief

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It was sophomore year when I opened the door to B120 and saw a dorky looking teacher with big glasses smiling at me. The green, rectangular table was encircled with an intimidating bunch – all juniors and seniors. It appeared that class had already been going on for awhile now, and I was late. I timidly sat down next to the new teacher while I was eyed uncertainly by most at the table. I apologized, saying how I thought I had B lunch instead of C. “No worries, my dog!” This teacher replied. What in the world was going to happen in this small Mac lab, I had no idea.

Introducing himself as Mr. Elliott, I discovered that he was now my sophomore world literature teacher and my newspaper teacher. Young and ambitious, his students were definitely in for a ride.

The catch was, I didn’t intend on taking newspaper at all. I took creative writing my freshman year and planned to continue strengthening my skills in an introductory journalism class. Newspaper wasn’t even a thought of mine. I just wanted to write. As it turns out, I’d be doing a lot more than that.

The Flightline: a print publication complete with colorful headlines, interesting formatting, and a lot of text with few images. Our mission was to redo the print publication, and we did. Senior David Rivard (Class of 2014) used his computer skills to create a very WordArt-esque logo of “The Flightline” with a hawk’s wingspan as the background. To sophomore year me, this was the coolest thing ever. To senior year me, it was comical.

Many Sunday’s were spent slaving away on InDesign as we all tried dutifully to perfectly format columns and pictures in order to release our print publication on time. It took us awhile because we all didn’t know what we were doing, but we all got it in the end. There were mad typos, and one time a story was printed twice right in a row. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

In August 2014, The Flightline was reintroduced as an improved online publication. It was redesigned by Hannah Klemme, who also became Editor-in-Chief of the literary magazine, Quintessence. Without her countless hours of work towards Q, we probably wouldn’t have continued past the first issue. She was the single driving force of that branch of Newspaper and her hard work definitely showed. It also helped that she became not only one of my closest co-staffers, but one of my closest friends, too. Thanks Klem.

Two years passed with unbelievable strides. This is an understatement. In just two years, the Flightline became so much more than my sophomore mind could ever even imagine. We ditched the print publication and moved to a more modern approach, our online publication. We gained media followers. We created a magazine. We won big deal awards and developed an incredible staff.

There’s a banner in the gym that has a 2015 state journalism championship on it. We’ve got a state trophy, a Cornhusker award, too. We were nationally ranked this year – the only publication from Nebraska to be named as a Pacemaker Finalist.

When Mr. Elliott joked about going to Los Angeles for newspaper, I rolled my eyes. In April, I wasn’t laughing anymore. Never in a million years would I expect to be on a plane headed to California for something like newspaper. As I stood with my toes in the sand at the Santa Monica Pier, it all became real. Simply floating along in a “slacker” class wasn’t it. The Skutt Catholic Flightline was more than just a class. It was a class, a job, a responsibility, a hobby, and a passion.

To my staff: You aren’t “my” staff. I find that kind of talk stupid and degrading. We are a team, it was never me and then you guys. Thank you for all your hard work this year. I know it was hard a lot of the time. Week after week and idea after idea, it’s easy to get burnt out and run out of fuel. I will always smile when I think about all the times we lifted each other up. Glasses off, the Bee Movie, and “I can’t see colors” will always make me laugh. I’m not scared leaving the Flightline in someone else’s hands, unless next year I try to pull up the website and it’s gone. Then, well… expect an unhappy Gabby in about an hour’s time from Lincoln to B120. Work hard, stay focused, and write quality pieces that you are proud of.

To the readers: Page view goals exceeded my expectations this year by a few hundred. To all of you who dutifully read every Monday morning, thank you. To all of the students who click on SkuttFeed to take the quizzes and vote on the polls, thank you. To all of you who randomly found this website or are reading this years from now, thanks!

To my teacher: Thank you for all you have done for me and this class. I didn’t realize my potential until you drove me to see it. Without your guidance, I don’t think I would have realized my passion for journalism until it was too late. All your charisma and positivity showed always, even when the glasses were off. It’s obvious how much you cared about your little newspaper babies and I hope you know how much we appreciate that.

As I lay my pen down and step off my soap box, I just have one more thing to say. Journalism isn’t dead, and it’s not going to be, even if Donald Trump ends up being the president. The world needs storytellers and it begins here.

There’s no better time to document than in high school. My parents look through their yearbooks all the time. Well, I’ll be the parent reading articles from the Flightline to my kids before bed and giving them copies of Quintessence to flip through each afternoon.

I am going to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln this fall and am studying Advertising and Public Relations in the school of Journalism and Mass Communications. I credit this decision to my involvement with the journalism department here at Skutt Catholic, and I will forever be thankful for the opportunity to grow here.

This is Gib, signing off.

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